Of The Laws Of Ecclesiastical Polity (With Active Table of Contents)

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zatalomobu.gq/spirituality/neuromuscular-rehabilitation-in-manual-and.pdf Edition: ; Page: [ 15 ] p It standeth with us in the Church of England, as touching public confession, thus:. Such complements are helps to support our weakness, and not causes that serve to procure or produce his gifts. In which cases, for the first branch of wicked life, and the t last which is open enmity, there can arise no great difficulty about the exercise of his power: in the second, concerning wrongs, there may, if men shall presume to define or measure injuries according to their own conceits, depraved oftentimes as well by error as partiality, and that no less in the minister himself, than in any other of the people under him.

The knowledge therefore which he taketh of wrongs must rise as it doth in the other two, not from his own opinion or conscience, but from the evidence of the fact which is committed; yea, from such evidence as neither doth admit denial nor defence.

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For if the offender having either colour of law to uphold, or any other pretence to excuse his own uncharitable and wrongful dealings, shall wilfully stand in defence thereof, it serveth as a bar to the power of the minister in this kind. Many there are reclaimed, as Peter; many, as Judas, known well enough, and yet tolerated; many, which must remain undescried till the day of His appearance, by whom the secret corners of darkness shall be brought into open light.

Leaving therefore unto his judgment them whom we cannot stay from casting their own souls into so great hazard, we have in the other part of penitential jurisdiction, in our power and authority to release sin, joy on all sides, without trouble or molestation unto any. And if to give be a thing more blessed than to receive, are we not infinitely happier in being authorized to bestow the treasure of God, than when necessity doth constrain to withdraw the same? They which, during life and health, are never destitute of ways to delude y repentance, do notwithstanding oftentimes, when their last hour draweth on, both feel that sting which before lay dead in them, and also thirst after such helps as Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] have been always till then unsavoury.

Shall I judge such a one a castaway? Neither will I avouch him safe. All I am able to say, is, Let his estate be left to the will and pleasure of Almighty God. Wilt thou be therefore clearly z delivered of all doubt? Repent while yet thou art healthy and strong. If thou defer it till time give no longer possibility of sinning, thou canst not be thought to have left sin, but rather sin to have forsaken thee. Yea, because to countervail the fault of delay, there are in the latest repentance oftentimes the surest tokens of sincere dealing; therefore upon special confession made to the minister of God, he presently absolveth in this case the sick party from all his sins by that authority which Jesus Christ hath committed unto him, knowing that God respecteth Edition: current; Page: [ 54 ] not so much what time is spent, as what truth is shewed in repentance.

I wish thee to obey the Prophet, who saith, Disclose thy way unto the Lord, confess thy sin before him, tell thy sins to him that he may blot them out. If thou be abasht to tell unto any other wherein thou hast offended, rehearse them every day between thee and thy soul. I wish thee not to confess them to thy fellow-servant, who may upbraid thee with them; tell them to God, who will cure them; there is no need for thee in the presence of witnesses to acknowledge them; let God alone see thee at thy confession.

I pray and beseech you, that you would more often than you do confess to God eternal, and reckoning b your trespasses desire his pardon 2. I carry you not into a theatre or open court of many your fellow-servants, I seek not to detect your crimes before men; disclose your conscience before God, unfold yourselves to him, lay forth your wounds before him, the best physician that is, and desire of him salve for them.

Contrariwise, if peace with God do not follow the pains we have taken in seeking after it, if we continue disquieted, and not delivered from anguish, mistrusting whether that we do be sufficient; it argueth that our sore doth exceed the power of our own skill, and that the wisdom of the pastor must bind up those parts, which being bruised are not able to be recured of themselves. Of Satisfaction. And it is happy for the Church of God, that we have the writings of the Fathers, to shew what their meaning was. The name of Satisfaction, as the ancient Fathers meant it, containeth whatsoever a penitent should do in the humbling himself unto God, and testifying by deeds of contribution the same which confession in words pretendeth.

Satisfaction, as a part, comprehendeth only that which the Baptist meant by works h worthy of repentance; and if we speak of the whole work of repentance itself, we may in the phrase of antiquity term it very well satisfaction. Edition: ; Page: [ 2 ] i Satisfaction is a work which justice requireth to be done for contentment of persons injured: neither is it in the eye of justice a sufficient satisfaction, unless it fully equal the injury for which we satisfy.

Seeing then that sin against God eternal and infinite must needs be an infinite wrong; justice in regard thereof doth necessarily exact an infinite recompense, or else inflict upon the offender infinite punishment. Now because God was thus to be satisfied, and man not able to make satisfaction in such sort, his unspeakable love and inclination to save mankind from eternal death ordained in our behalf a Mediator, to do that which had been for any other impossible.

Edition: ; Page: [ 3 ] n Repentance is a name which noteth the habit and operation of a certain grace or virtue in us: Satisfaction, the effect which it hath, either with God or man. And it is not in this respect said amiss, that satisfaction importeth acceptation, reconciliation, and amity; because that through satisfaction, on the one part made, and allowed on the other, they which before did reject are now content to receive, they to be won again which were lost, and they to love unto whom just cause of hatred was given.

We satisfy therefore in doing Edition: current; Page: [ 58 ] that which is sufficient to this effect; and they towards whom we do it are satisfied, if they accept it as sufficient, and require no more: otherwise we satisfy not, although we do satisfy: for so between man and man it oftentimes falleth out, but between man and God, never. It is therefore true, that our Lord Jesus Christ by one most precious and propitiatory sacrifice, which was his body, a gift of infinite worth, offered for the sins of the whole world, hath thereby once reconciled us to God, purchased his general free pardon, and turned away divine indignation from mankind.

But we are not for that cause to think any office of penitence either needless or fruitless on our own behalf: for then would not God require any such duties at our hands. Christ doth remain everlastingly a gracious intercessor, even for every particular penitent. Let this assure us, that God, how highly soever displeased and incensed with our sins, is notwithstanding for his sake by our tears pacified, taking that for satisfaction which is due [done?

For, as he is the High-priest of our salvation, so he hath made us priests likewise under him 1 , to the end we might offer unto God praise and thankfulness, while we continue in the way of life, and when we sin, the satisfactory or propitiatory sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart 2. Edition: ; Page: [ 4 ] o Anger and mercy are in us passions; but in him not so. Augustine 2 , is not as ours, the trouble of a mind disturbed and disquieted with things amiss, but a calm, unpassionate, and just assignation of dreadful punishment to be their portion which have disobeyed; his mercy a free determination of all felicity and happiness unto men, except their sins remain as a bar between it and them.

So that justly God did inflict bodily death on man for committing sin, and yet after sin forgiven took it not away, that his righteousness might still have whereby to be exercised. For with these duties by us performed, and presented unto God in heaven by Jesus Christ, whose blood is a continual sacrifice of propitiation for us, we content, please, and satisfy God. Edition: ; Page: [ 5 ] Repentance therefore, even the sole virtue of repentance, without either purpose of shrift, or desire of absolution from the priest; repentance, the secret conversion of the heart, in that it consisteth of these three, and doth by these three pacify God, may be without hyperbolical terms most truly magnified, as a recovery of the soul of man from deadly sickness, a restitution of glorious light to his darkened mind, a comfortable reconciliation with God, a spiritual nativity, a rising from the dead, a day-spring from out the depth of obscurity, a redemption from more than the Egyptian thraldom, a grinding of the old Adam even into dust and powder, a deliverance out of the prisons of hell, a full restoration of the seat of grace and throne of glory, a triumph over sin, and a saving victory.

Edition: ; Page: [ 6 ] d Amongst the works of satisfaction, the most respected have been always these three, Prayers, Fasts, and Almsdeeds: by prayer e , we lift up our souls to him from whom sin and iniquity hath f withdrawn them; by fasting, we reduce the body from thraldom under vain delights, and make it serviceable for parts of virtuous conversation; by alms, Edition: current; Page: [ 63 ] we dedicate to charity these g worldly goods and possessions, BOOK VI.

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In which three, the Apostle by way of abridgment comprehendeth whatsoever may appertain to sanctimony, holiness, and good life: as contrariwise the very mass of general corruption throughout the world, what is it but only forgetfulness of God, carnal pleasure, immoderate desire after worldly things; profaneness, licentiousness, covetousness? All offices of repentance have these two properties; there is in performance of them painfulness, and in their nature a contrariety unto sin.

The one consideration causeth them both in holy Scripture 1 and elsewhere to be termed judgments or revenges taken voluntarily on ourselves, and to be furthermore also preservatives from future evils, inasmuch as we commonly use to keep with the greater care that which with pain we have recovered 2. And they are in the other respect contrary to sin committed; contrition, contrary to the pleasure; confession, to the error, which is mother of sin; and to the deeds of sin, the works of satisfaction contrary; therefore they all h the more effectual to cure the evil habit thereof.

Hereunto it was that St. Wherefore concerning Satisfaction made to God by Christ only, and of the manner how repentance generally, particularly also, how certain special works of penitency, both are by the Fathers in their ordinary phrase of speech called satisfactory, and may be by us very well so acknowledged; enough hath been spoken. Edition: ; Page: [ 7 ] 1 Our offences sometimes m are of such nature, as requireth that particular men be satisfied, or else repentance to be utterly void, and of none effect.

For, if either through open rapine or cloaked fraud, if through injurious or unconscionable dealings n , a man have wittingly wronged others to enrich himself; the first thing evermore in this case required ability o serving is restitution. For let no man deceive himself: from such offences we are not discharged, neither can be, till recompense and restitution to man accompany the penitent confession we have made to Almighty God.

In which case the law of Moses was direct and plain 2. We hold not Christian people tied unto Jewish orders for the manner of restitution; but surely restitution we must hold necessary, as well in our own repentance as theirs, for sins of wilful oppression z and wrong 3. Edition: ; Page: [ 8 ] a Now although it suffice b , that the offices wherewith we pacify God or private men be secretly done; yet in cases where the Church must be also satisfied, it was not to this end and purpose unnecessary, that the ancient discipline did further require outward signs of contrition to be shewed, confession of sins to be made openly, and those works to be apparent, which served as testimonies of c conversion before men.

The Fathers, as may appear by sundry decrees and canons of the primitive Church, were in matter specially of public scandal provident that too much facility of pardoning might not be shewed. By means of which discipline, the Church having power to hold them many years in suspense, there was bred in the minds of the penitents, through long and daily practice of such submission, a contrary habit unto that which before had been their ruin, and for ever afterwards wariness not to fall into those snares out of which they knew they could not easily wind themselves.

Notwithstanding, because there was likewise hope and possibility of shortening the time, this made them in all the parts and offices of their repentance the more fervent. In the first station, while they only beheld others, passing towards the temple of God, whereunto for themselves Edition: current; Page: [ 68 ] to approach it was not lawful; they stood as miserable forlorn men, the very patterns of perplexity and woe.


In the second, when they had the favour to wait at the doors of God, where Hooker 2. After the fourth step, which gave them liberty to hear and pray with the rest of the people; being so near the haven, no diligence was then slacked which might hasten admission to the heavenly table of Christ, their last desire. It is not therefore a thing to be marvelled at, though St. Cyprian took it in very evil e part, when open backsliders from the faith and sacred religion of Christ laboured by sinister practice to procure from imprisoned saints those requests for present absolution, which the Church could neither yield unto with safety of discipline, nor in honour of martyrdom easily deny.

For, what would thereby ensue they needed not to conjecture, when they saw how every man which came so commended to the Church by letters thought that now he needed not to crave, but might challenge of duty, his peace; taking the matter very highly, if but any little forbearance or small delay were f used. As for the parties, in whose behalf such shifts were used; to have their desire was, in very truth, a way to make them the more guilty 2 : such peace granted contrary to the vigour i of the Gospel, contrary to the law of our Lord and God, doth but under colour of merciful relaxation deceive sinners, and by soft handling destroy them; a grace dangerous for the giver, and to him which receiveth it nothing at all available.

Why term they that a favour, which is an injury? Wherefore cloak they impiety with the name of charitable indulgence? Such facility giveth not, but rather taketh away peace; and is itself another fresh persecution or trial, whereby that fraudulent enemy maketh a secret havock of such as before he had overthrown; and now to the end he may clean swallow them, he casteth sorrow in a dead sleep, putteth grief to silence, wipeth out the memory of faults newly done, smothereth the sighs that should arise 1 from a contrite spirit, drieth up eyes which ought to send forth rivers of tears, and permitteth not God to be pacified with full repentance, whom heinous and enormous crimes have displeased.

By this then we see, that in St. Edition: ; Page: [ 9 ] m By what works in the Virtue, and by what in the Discipline of Repentance, we are said to satisfy either God or men, cannot now be thought obscure. The end of satisfaction. As for the inventors of sacramental satisfaction, they have both altered the natural order heretofore kept in the Church, by bringing in a strange preposterous course, to absolve before satisfaction be made, and moreover by this their misordered practice are grown into sundry errors concerning the end whereunto it is referred. Yet so that there is between God and man a certain composition as it were or contract, by virtue whereof works assigned by the priest to be done after absolution shall satisfy God, as touching the punishment which he otherwise would inflict for sin pardoned and forgiven n.

The way of satisfying by others. Now because they cannot assure any man, that if he perform what the priest appointeth it shall suffice; this I say because they cannot do, inasmuch as the priest hath no power to determine or define of equivalency between sins and satisfactions; and yet if a penitent depart this life, the debt of satisfaction being either in whole or in part undischarged, they steadfastly hold that the soul must remain in unspeakable torment till all be paid: therefore for help and mitigation in this case, they advise men to set certain copesmates on work, whose prayers and sacrifices may satisfy God for such souls Edition: current; Page: [ 72 ] as depart in debt.

Hence have arisen the infinite pensions of their priests, the building of so many altars and tombs, the enriching of Churches with so many glorious and costly gifts, the bequeathing of lands and ample possessions to religious companies, even with utter forgetfulness of friends, parents, wife, children o , all natural affection giving place unto that desire, which men doubtful of their own estate have to deliver their souls from torment after death. Yet behold, even this being also done, how far forth it shall avail they are not sure; and therefore the last upshot unto all their former inventions is, that as every action of Christ did both merit for himself, and satisfy partly for the eternal, and partly for the temporal punishment due unto men for sin; so his saints have obtained the like privilege of grace, making every good work they do, not only meritorious in their own behalf, but satisfactory too for the benefit of others.

So many works of satisfaction pretended to be done by Christ, by saints, and martyrs; so many virtuous acts possessed with satisfactory force and virtue; so many Edition: current; Page: [ 73 ] supererogations in satisfying beyond the exigence of their own necessity; BOOK VI. Such facility they have to convert a pretended sacrament into a true x revenue. Of Absolution of Penitents. It resteth therefore to be considered what warrant we have concerning forgiveness, when the sentence of man absolveth us from sin committed against God. Now there is no controversy but as God in that special case did authorize Nathan, so Christ more generally his Apostles and the ministers of his word in his name to absolve sinners.

Edition: ; Page: [ 2 ] a It is not to be marvelled that so great a difference appeareth between the doctrine of Rome and ours, when we teach repentance. They imply in the name of repentance much more than we do. We stand chiefly upon the true b inward conversion of the heart; they more upon works of external show. We labour to instruct men in such sort, that every soul which is wounded with sin may learn the way how to cure itself; they, clean contrary, would make all sores seem incurable, unless the priest have a hand in them.

So that no contrition or grief of heart, till the priest exact it; no acknowledgment of sins, but that which he doth demand; no praying, no fasting, no alms, no recompense or restitution for whatsoever we have done, can help, except by him it be first imposed. It is the chain of their own doctrine, no remedy for mortal sin committed after baptism but the sacrament of penance only; no sacrament of penance, if either matter or form be wanting; no ways to make those duties a material part of the sacrament, unless we consider them as required and exacted by the priest.

Our Lord and Saviour, they say, hath ordained his priests judges in such sort, that no man which sinneth after baptism can be reconciled unto God but by their sentence 2.

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For why? Howbeit all this with two restraints, which every jurisdiction in the world hath; the one, that the practice thereof proceed in due order; the other, that it do not extend itself beyond due bounds; which bounds or limits have so confined penitential jurisdiction, that although there be given unto it power of remitting sin, yet not such sovereignty of power, that no sin should be pardonable in man without it. Edition: ; Page: [ 4 ] h What is then the force of absolution? What is it which the act of absolution worketh in a sinful man? Doth it by any operation derived from itself alter the state of the soul?

The latter of wich two is our assertion, the former theirs. Now albeit we willingly confess with St. Edition: ; Page: [ 5 ] k To remission of sins there are two things necessary; grace, as the only cause which taketh away iniquity; and repentance, as a duty or condition required in us. To make repentance such as it should be, what doth God demand but inward sincerity joined with fit and convenient offices for that purpose? It pleaseth God that men sometimes should, by missing this help, perceive how much they stand bound to him for so precious a benefit enjoyed.

And surely, so long as the world lived in any awe or fear of falling away from God, so dear were his ministers to the people, chiefly in this respect, that being through tyranny and persecution deprived of pastors, the doleful rehearsal 1 of Edition: current; Page: [ 78 ] their lost felicities hath not any one thing more eminent, than that sinners distrest should not now know how or where to unlade their burthen. Strange it were unto me, that the Fathers, who so much every where extol the grace of Jesus Christ in leaving unto his Church this heavenly and divine power, should as men whose simplicity had generally m been abused, agree all to admire and magnify a needless office.

For inasmuch as the power which our Saviour gave to his Church is of two kinds, the one to be exercised over voluntary penitents only, the other over such as are to be brought to amendment by ecclesiastical censure q ; the words wherein he hath given this authority must be so understood, as the subject or matter whereupon it worketh will permit.

It doth not permit that in the former kind, that is to say, in the use of power over voluntary converts, to bind or loose, remit or retain, should signify any other than only to pronounce of sinners according to that which may be gathered by outward signs; because really to effect the removal or continuance of sin in the soul of any offender r , is no priestly act, but a work which far exceedeth their ability s.

And this power, true it is, that the Church of Christ hath invested in it. Edition: ; Page: [ 6 ] u Howbeit, as other truths, so this hath both by error been oppugned, and depraved through abuse. A sponge steeped in wormwood and gall, a man through too much severity merciless, and neither able to endure nor to be endured of any. Who will be careful for ever to hold that, which he knoweth cannot for ever be withheld from him?


Characteristics off Valencia as a cultural community i Table 3. Socialist and communally focused forms of anarchism emphasize the importance of social groups. Machan, Tibor, R. I will explore whether there is any relationship among such requirements in other to build a typology. And indeed the deep and sincere dread with which he regarded the errors and aggressions of Rome, is apparent in every part of his writings: and so much the more instructive will it prove, should we find him of his own accord embracing those catholic opinions and practices, which some in their zeal against popery may have too lightly parted with, but which Rome alone could not give, neither should we allow her indirectly to take them away.

He which slackeneth the bridle to sin, doth thereby give it even the spur also 3. Take away fear, and that which presently succeedeth instead thereof is licentious desire. Greater offences therefore are punishable, but not pardonable, by the Church. If any Prophet or Apostle 4 be found to have remitted such transgressions, they did it not by the ordinary course of discipline, but by extraordinary power. For they also raised the dead, which none but God is able to do; they restored impotent x and lame men, a work peculiar to Jesus Christ; yea, that which Christ would not do, because executions of such severity beseemed not him who came to save and redeem the world by his sufferings, they by their power struck Elymas and Ananias, the one blind, and the other dead.

Approve first yourselves to be as they were Edition: current; Page: [ 81 ] Apostles or Prophets, and then take upon you to pardon all men. But if the authority you have be only ministerial, and no way sovereign, over-reach not the limits which God hath set you; know that to pardon capital sin is beyond your commission. In which respect Tertullian hath past with much less obloquy and reprehension than Novatian; who, broaching afterwards the same opinion, had not otherwise wherewith to countervail the offence he gave, and to procure it the like toleration.


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Novatian, at the first a stoical philosopher, which kind of men hath always accounted stupidity the highest top of wisdom, and commiseration the deadliest sin, became by institution and study the very same which the other had been before through a secret natural distemper, upon his conversion to the Christian faith and recovery from sickness, which moved him to receive the sacrament of Baptism in his bed. The bishop contrary to the canons of the Church 1 would needs in special love towards him ordain him presbyter, which favour satisfied not him who thought himself worthy of greater place and dignity.

He closed therefore with a number of well-minded men, and not suspicious what his secret purposes were, and having made them sure unto him by fraud, procureth his own consecration to be their bishop. His prelacy now was able as he thought to countenance what he intended to publish, and therefore his letters went presently abroad to sundry churches, advising them never to admit to the fellowship of holy mysteries such as had after baptism offered sacrifice to idols.

There was present at the council of Nice, together with other bishops, one Acesius a Novatianist 2 , touching whose diversity in opinion from the Church the emperor desirous to hear some reason, asked of him certain questions; for answer whereunto Acesius weaveth out a long history of things that Edition: current; Page: [ 82 ] happened in the persecution under Decius, and of men, which to save life forsook faith. But further to relate, or at all to refel the errors of misbelieving men concerning this point, is not now to our present purpose greatly necessary.

Edition: ; Page: [ 7 ] y The Church may receive no small detriment by corrupt practice, even there where doctrine concerning the substance of things practised is free from any great or dangerous Edition: current; Page: [ 83 ] corruption. They bind all men, upon pain of everlasting condemnation and death, to make confession to their ghostly fathers of every great offence they know, and can remember that they have committed against God.

Hath Christ in his Gospel so delivered the doctrine of repentance unto the world? Did his Apostles so preach it to nations? Have the Fathers so believed or so taught? Surely Novatian was not so merciless in depriving the Church of power to absolve some certain offenders, as they in imposing upon all a necessity thus to confess.

Novatian would never a deny but God might remit that which the Church could not; whereas in the papacy it is maintained, that what we conceal from men, God himself shall never pardon. By which oversight, as they have surcharged the world with multitude, but much abated the weight of confession, so the careless manner of their absolution hath made discipline for the most part amongst them a bare formality; yea, rather a mean of emboldening unto vicious and wicked life, than either any help to prevent future, or medicine to remedy present evils in the soul of man.

The Fathers were slow and always fearful to absolve any before very manifest tokens given of a true penitent and contrite spirit. It was not their custom to remit sin first, and then to impose works of satisfaction, as the fashion of Rome is now; insomuch that this their preposterous course, and misordered practice b , hath bred in them also c an error concerning the end and purpose of these works. For against the guiltiness of sin, and the danger of everlasting condemnation thereby incurred, confession and absolution succeeding the same, are, as they take it, a remedy sufficient; and therefore what their penitentiaries do think good to enjoin d farther, Edition: current; Page: [ 84 ] whether it be a number of Ave-Maries daily to be scored up, a journey of pilgrimage to be undertaken, BOOK VI.

And at this postern gate cometh in the whole mart of papal indulgences 1 , so infinitely strewed, that the pardon of sin, which heretofore was obtained hardly and by much suit, is with them become now almost impossible to be escaped. Edition: ; Page: [ 8 ] h To set down then the force of this sentence in absolving penitents; there are in sin these three things 2 : the act which passeth away and vanisheth; the pollution wherewith it leaveth the soul defiled; and the punishment whereunto they are made subject that have committed it. The act of sin, is every deed, word, and thought against the law of God.

The blot therefore of sin abideth, though the act be transitory. And out of both ariseth a present debt, to endure what punishment soever the evil which we have done deserveth; Edition: current; Page: [ 85 ] an obligation, in the chains whereof sinners by the justice of Almighty God continue bound till repentance loose them. Nor doth God only bind sinners hands k and foot by the dreadful determination of his own unsearchable judgment against them; but sometime also the Church bindeth by the censures of her discipline 3 : so that when offenders upon their repentance are by the same discipline absolved, the Church looseth but her own bands l , the chains wherein she had tied them before.

He only by himself forgiveth sin, who cleanseth the soul from inward blemish, and looseth the debt of eternal death. So great a privilege he hath not given unto his priests, who notwithstanding are authorized to loose and bind, that is to say, to n declare who are bound, and who are loosed. Edition: ; Page: [ 9 ] q But the cause wherefore they are so stiff, and have forsaken their own master in this point, is for that they hold the private discipline of penitency to be a sacrament, absolution an external sign in this sacrament, the signs external of all sacraments in the New Testament to be both causes of that which they signify, and signs of that which they truly cause.

To this opinion concerning sacraments they are now tied by expounding a canon in the Florentine council 1 according to a former scholastical r invention received from Thomas. For his device it was, that the mercy of God, which useth sacraments as instruments whereby to work, endueth them at the time of their administration with supernatural force and ability to induce grace into the souls of men; even as the axe and saw do serve s to bring timber into that fashion which the mind of the artificer intendeth 2.

Edition: ; Page: [ 10 ] x In which construction, seeing that our books y and writings have made it known to the world how we join with them, it seemeth very hard and injurious dealing, that Bellarmine throughout the whole course of his second book De Sacramentis in Genere 2 , should so boldly face down his adversaries, as if their opinion were, that sacraments are naked, empty, and uneffectual signs; wherein there is no other force than only such as in pictures to stir up the mind, that so by theory and speculation of things represented, faith may grow: finally, that all the operation which sacraments Edition: current; Page: [ 89 ] have, is a sensible and divine instruction.

For so God hath instituted and ordained, that, together with due administration and receipt of sacramental signs, there shall proceed from himself grace effectual to sanctify, to cure, to comfort, and whatsoever is else a for the good of the souls of men. Howbeit this opinion 3 Thomas rejecteth, under pretence that it maketh sacramental words and elements to be in themselves no more than signs, whereas they ought to be held as causes of that they signify.

Now they which pretend to follow Thomas, differ from him in two points. For first, they make grace an immediate effect of the outward sign, which he for the dignity and excellency thereof was afraid to do. Are they able to explain unto us, or themselves Edition: current; Page: [ 91 ] to conceive, what they mean when they thus speak? For example, let them teach us, in the sacrament of Baptism, what it is for water to be moved till it bring forth grace. And, as I think, we thus far avouch no more than they themselves confess to be very true. If any thing displease them, it is because we add to these premisses another assertion; that with the outward sign God joineth his Holy Spirit, and so the whole instrument of God bringeth that to pass, whereunto the baser and meaner part could not extend.

Notwithstanding if God did himself teach his Church in this case to believe that which he hath not given us capacity to comprehend, how incredible soever it may seem, yet our wits should submit themselves, and reason give place unto faith therein. But they 2 yield it to be no question of faith, how grace doth proceed from sacraments; if in general they be acknowledged true instrumental causes, by the ministry whereof men receive divine grace; and that they which impute grace to the only operation of God himself, concurring with the external sign, do no less acknowledge the true efficacy of the sacrament, than they that ascribe 3 the same to the quality of the sign Edition: current; Page: [ 93 ] applied, or to the motion of God applying, and so far carrying it, till grace be thereby f not created, but extracted out of the natural possibility of the soul.

Nevertheless this last philosophical imagination if I may call it philosophical, which useth the terms, but overthroweth the rules of philosophy, and hath no article of faith to support it, but whatsoever it be, they follow it in a manner all; they cast off the first opinion, wherein is most perspicuity and strongest evidence of certain truth. Many of the ancient Fathers, presupposing that the faithful before Christ had not till the time of his coming that perfect life and salvation which they looked for and we possess, thought likewise their sacraments to be but prefigurations of that which ours in present do exhibit.

Where God doth work and use these outward means, wherein he neither findeth nor planteth force and aptness towards his intended purpose, such means are but signs to bring men to Edition: current; Page: [ 95 ] the consideration of his own g omnipotent power, which without the use of things sensible would not be marked. Sacraments, that is to say, the outward signs in sacraments, work nothing till they be blessed and sanctified of God. Shall we say that sacraments are like magical signs, if thus they have their effect? Is it magic for God to manifest by things sensible what he doth, and to do by his own most glorious Spirit really what he manifesteth in his sacraments?

The first is by way of concomitance and consequence to deliver the rest also that either accompany or ensue. It is not here, as in cases of mutual commerce, where diverse persons have divers acts to be performed in their own behalf; a creditor to shew his bill, and a debtor to pay his money. But God and man do here meet in one action upon a third, in whom, as it is the work of God to create grace, so it is his work by the hand of the minister to apply a sign which should betoken, and his work to annex, that Spirit, which shall effect it.

The action therefore is but one, God the author thereof, and man a cooperator h by him assigned to work for, with, and under him. God the giver of grace by the outward ministry of man, so far forth as he authorizeth man to apply the sacraments of grace in the soul, which he alone worketh, without either instrument or co-agent. Edition: ; Page: [ 12 ] i Whereas therefore with us the remission of sin is ascribed unto God, as a thing which proceedeth from him only, and presently followeth upon the virtue of true repentance appearing in man; that which we attribute to the virtue, Edition: current; Page: [ 96 ] they do not only impute to the sacrament of repentance, but having made repentance a sacrament, and thinking of sacraments as they do, they are enforced to make the ministry of his priests and their absolution a cause of that which the sole omnipotency of God worketh.

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Shall absolution be a cause producing and working that effect which is always brought forth without it, and had before absolution be sought n? But when they which are thus beforehand pardoned of God shall come to be also assoiled by the Edition: current; Page: [ 97 ] priest, I would know what force his absolution hath in this case? Are they able to say here that the priest doth remit any thing? It sufficeth, I think, both against their constructions to have proved that they ground an untruth on his speech, and in behalf of our own, that his words without any such transposition do very well admit the sense we give them; which is, that he taketh to himself the lawful proceedings of authority in his name, and that the act of spiritual authority in this case, is by sentence to acquit or pronounce them free from sin whom they judge to be sincerely and truly penitent; which interpretation they themselves do acknowledge, though not sufficient, yet very true.

Absolution 1 , they say, declareth indeed, but this is not all, for it likewise maketh innocent; which addition being an untruth proved, our truth granted hath we o hope sufficiency without it, and consequently our opinion therein neither to be challenged as untrue, nor as unsufficient. Edition: ; Page: [ 13 ] p To rid themselves out of these briers, and to make remission of sins an effect of absolution, notwithstanding that which hitherto hath been said, they have two shifts.

As first, that in many penitents there is but attrition 2 of heart, which attrition they define to be grief proceeding from fear without love; and to these they say absolution doth give that contrition Edition: current; Page: [ 98 ] whereby men are really purged from sin. Secondly, that even where contrition or inward repentance doth cleanse without absolution, the reason why it cometh so to pass is 1 , because such contrites intend and desire absolution, though they have it not.

Which two things granted; the one, that absolution given maketh them contrite that are not, the other, that even in them which are contrite, the cause why God remitteth sin is the purpose or desire they have to receive absolution 2 ; we are not to stand against a sequel so clear and manifest as this, that always remission of sin proceedeth from absolution either had or desired. But should a reasonable man give credit to their bare conceit, and because their positions have driven them to imagine absolving of unsufficiently-disposed penitents to be a real creating of further virtue in them, must all other men think it true q?

Have they borne us all this while in hand that contrition is a part of the Edition: current; Page: [ 99 ] matter of their sacrament s , a condition or preparation of the mind towards grace to be received by absolution in the form of their sacrament? But let this pass how it will; seeing the question is not, what virtues u God may accept in penitent sinners, but what grace absolution actually given doth really bestow upon them.

If it were, as they will have it, that God, regarding the humiliation of a contrite spirit, because there is joined therewith a lowly desire of the sacrament of priestly absolution, pardoneth immediately and forgiveth all offences; doth this any thing help to prove that absolution received afterward x Edition: current; Page: [ ] from the priest, can more than declare him already pardoned which did desire it? To desire absolution, presupposing it commanded, is obedience; and obedience in that case is a branch of the virtue of repentance; which virtue being thereby made effectual to the taking away of sins without the sacrament of repentance, is it not an argument that the sacrament of absolution hath here no efficacy, but the virtue of contrition worketh all?

For how should any effect ensue from causes which actually are not? The sacrament must be applied wheresoever any grace doth proceed from it. Wherefore the further we wade, the better we see it still appear, that the priest doth never in absolution, no not so much as by way of service and ministry, really either forgive the act, take away the uncleanness, or remove the punishment of sin: but if the party penitent come contrite, he hath by their own grant absolution before absolution; if not contrite, although the priest should ten thousand times absolve y him, all were in vain.

His absolution hath in their doctrine certain other effects specified 4 but this denied. Edition: ; Page: [ 14 ] a Now the last and sometimes hardest to be satisfied by repentance, are our minds; and our minds we have then satisfied, when the conscience is of guilty become clear. Which point sith very infidels and heathens have observed in the nature of sin for the disease they felt, though they knew no remedy to help it we are not rashly to despise those sentences which are the testimonies of their experience touching this point.

For, as the body is rent with stripes, so the mind with guiltiness of cruelty, lust, and wicked resolutions. Which furies brought the Emperor Tiberius sometimes into such perplexity, that writing to the senate, his wonted art of dissimulation failed him utterly in this case; and whereas it had been ever his peculiar delight so to speak that no man might be able to sound his meaning, he had not Edition: current; Page: [ ] the power to conceal what he felt through the secret scourge of an evil conscience, though no necessity did now enforce b to disclose the same. Neither are we to marvel that these things, known unto all, do stay so few from being authors of their own woe.

Are we not bound then with all thankfulness to acknowledge his infinite goodness and mercy, which hath revealed unto us the way how to rid ourselves of these mazes; the way how to shake off that yoke, which no flesh is able to bear; the way how to change most grisly horror into a comfortable apprehension of heavenly joy? Edition: ; Page: [ 15 ] f Whereunto there are many which labour with so much the greater difficulty, because imbecility of mind doth not suffer them to censure rightly their own doings: some fearful lest the enormity of their crimes be so impardonable that no repentance can do them good; some lest the imperfection of their repentance make it uneffectual to the taking away of sin.

The one drive all things to this issue, whether Edition: current; Page: [ ] they be not men which g have sinned against the Holy Ghost; the other to this, what repentance is sufficient to clear sinners, and to assure them that they are delivered. Such as by error charge themselves of unpardonable sin, must think, it may be they deem that impardonable which is not. Our Saviour speaketh indeed of a h blasphemy which shall never be forgiven. But have they any sure and infallible knowledge what that blasphemy is? If not, why are they unjust and cruel to their own souls, imagining certainty of guiltiness in a crime concerning the very nature whereof they are uncertain?

It was for them in this case impossible to be renewed by any repentance: because they were now in the state of Satan and his angels, the Judge of quick and dead had passed his irrevocable sentence against them. For all other offenders, without exception or stint, whether they be strangers that seek access, or followers that will make return unto God; upon the tender of their repentance, the grant of his grace standeth everlastingly signed with his blood in the book of eternal life.

These cast themselves first into very great, and peradventure needless agonies, through misconstruction of things spoken about proportioning our griefs to our sins 1 , for which they never think they have wept and mourned enough; yea, if they have not always a stream of tears at commandment o , they take it for a sign of a heart p congealed and hardened in sin; when to keep the wound of contrition bleeding, they unfold the circumstances of their transgressions, and endeavour to leave out q nothing which may be heavy against themselves.

Yet do what they can, they are still fearful, lest herein also they do not that which they ought and might. Notwithstanding, forasmuch as they wrong themselves with over rigorous and extreme exactions, by means whereof they fall sometimes into such perplexities as can hardly be allayed; it hath therefore pleased Almighty God, in tender commiseration over these imbecillities of men, to ordain for their spiritual and ghostly comfort consecrated persons, which by sentence of power and authority given from above, may as it were out of his very mouth ascertain timorous and doubtful Edition: current; Page: [ ] minds in their own particular, ease them of all their scrupulosities, leave them settled in peace and satisfied touching the mercy of God towards them.

To use the benefit of this t help for our better satisfaction in such cases is so natural, that it can be forbidden no man; but yet not so necessary, that all men should be in case to need it. Edition: ; Page: [ 18 ] u They are of the two the happier therefore that can content and satisfy themselves by judging discreetly what they perform, and soundly v what God doth require of them. If there be a will and desire to return, he receiveth, embraceth, omitteth nothing which may restore us to former happiness; yea, that which is yet above all the rest, albeit we cannot in the duty of satisfying him attain what we ought and would, but come far behind our mark, he taketh nevertheless in good worth that little which we do; be it never so mean, we lose not our labour therein.

I will therefore end with St. Let not therefore the unperfect fear; let them only proceed and go forward. Notes upon the 6 Booke. But then I could wishe that sentence to be divided into two; for yt is long. But the word will not be generally understood. This was the sentence of a Pope, as I conceave, chalenging unto him self that which by us is denyed him: and therefore yt may be this allegation is not so fitt, although I very well understand in what sense yt is alleaged by you.

But I may be deceaved in this matter because yt is a matter of story, whereof I have no knowledge. Raynoldes note in the former bookes. Eyther yt is false written, or yt must be otherwise explained in my opinion. Cite your author. You may thinke upon these wordes whether they do not seeme to imply some repugnancy to the former: and although I know they may be reconciled, yet perhaps it were not amisse if before hand they were qualifyed.

But because [this] opinion is newe and contrary to that which hath been receaved, [I] could wishe that common opinion were sett downe and their reference to the speach of Moses 5 specified together with the reasons of your opinion on the other side, and the dissimilitude of Moses speach from the Apostles.

Moreover because yt may seeme but a sleight kynd of endamagement which the Apostle doth wishe unto himself, yf yt reach no farther than you seeme to understand it, especially in theis dayes wherein separation from the Church is taken for a matter of nothing: yt may be shewed how highely they accompted of the visible and outward communion of saintes, as may appeare in that Psalme where David extolleth the state of the sparrowe as I remember even in that respect because she had her nest in the temple.

But of this enough. Gregorie 1. Gregory Nyssene, because the later Gregory will otherwise be understood. For myne owne part I do not conceave wherein the distinction lyeth betweene causes spirituall and temporall, although yt be manifest that a distinction there is betweene them.

And in the practise of the commonwealth causes spirituall in some cases are determinable in civill courtes, as tithes, perjury; and causes temporall in the spirituall courtes, as testamentes, which in my opinion are merely civill: so as I see the division with us is not according to the nature of the thing, but as lawe or custom hath prevayled.

It may be some more pregnant testimony might be found. For the thing I thinke is true. And therefore if any testimony could here be alleaged of the exercise of excommunication before Victor, Edition: current; Page: [ ] it would be very fitt.

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For this and the like if you cannot call to remembrance any cleare testimony, it may be D. Raynoldes were able to furnish you, with a word writing unto him, when you send your booke. The next sentence then must followe. You may polish yt at your pleasure. And I thinke either something is to be sayd in defence thereof 3 , or this clause to be left out which doth seeme to blame the exercise of yt, as now it is used. You knowe that no man is excommunicate but for contumacy, which in the least thinges for the most part is greatest, because the more easily the thing is done, the greater is the contempt in neglecting yt.

So as theyr cavil is but slander when they say, we are excommunicate for fees 4 : for it is not in that regard, but because the Church hath no other meanes to make men appeare or do theyr dutyes but this onely.

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This point may be thought upon. If other meanes were appointed whereby the Edition: current; Page: [ ] spirituall courtes might punishe contumacy in such cases, I thinke yt were not amisse, but no other beeing, that must be used. It may be this marginall note might be brought into the text. Which incomparable vertue because we cannot deny to our Saviour Christ, Edition: current; Page: [ ] we ought not to deny him any souverainety, nor to adioyne unto him any assistants.

Reade the sentence, and you shall perceave my meaning. You may say: furthermore, or, moreover. You terme yt sometymes chiefety of dominion, sometymes souverainety, sometimes imperiall power. I thinke theys wordes souverainety of dominion or souverayne dominion are the fittest to be alwayes used, and plainest to be understood. If you be of this mynd, you may alter those places before, and make them all alike.

For the greater his auctority is who alleageth it, the plainer I would have the inconsequence of his reason to be made. This I leave to your consideration. This clause I understand not, for whether those lay elders were the same with the auncients of the civill state or others, it commeth all to one passe in my opinion, if it appeare they dealt in causes spirituall.

Had they no wives nor servants? If they had, then they were in the number. Looke to the quotations in the margine that they be right and rightly placed. Quote theys thinges. I do not understand to what purpose this marginall note serveth, if it be compared with the text, and for ought I see it may be spared. If not, I thinke yt were not amisse to leave it out. Or some such alteracion. Some auctority must be alleaged for this point.

Unlesse we may say that they were not of the body of the court, except they were also of the 70, but onely associates in judgment by way of advise. It seemeth unlikely that such a number could all meete together to determine of so many causes at so many tymes. It may be sett in the margine. Sandes mynd and myne of this word. But if the name of Scribe do signify as you seeme to say any one professing skill in the lawe, in that sense a Pharisee may be called a Scribe, and the name of Scribe is ambiguous, applied both to the genus and species. If it be so, as I coniecture by your discourse, it were not amisse to sett the distinction plainely downe of the word, Scribe.

That the antiquityes of all nations, especially of the Jewes so farre removed from us both in place and tyme, are for the most part obscure and hard to be particularly sett downe, because being well knowne and not greately regarded of all then living, men are not commonly willing to take paynes in delivering such thinges to posterity: but that partly out of Scripture, partly by probable coniecture and out of the writinges of the Jewes you have collected and sett downe that which in your opinion is most consonant unto trueth. Hereupon I could wishe that a brief collection were made of all those mayne positions which are contayned in the former discourse.

I will sett downe what I have conceaved of the Jewes estate out of your discourse; for otherwise I have no skill nor knowledge therein; but if I have mistaken ought, you may perceave wherein some explanation is requisite for other mens farther direction. I conceave therefore that your meaning is this, 1.

That the king himself was chief of this court if he list to sitt therein, if not, then some of the princes by him appointed; That the High Priest was the next in this court unto the King himself; That the state of Jury beeing greatly decayed by the rent of the ten tribes the same was by Jehosaphat restored. Not before any civil judges where Zebadiah being a civil Edition: current; Page: [ ] magistrate did sitt upon civil causes only; for that were not likely that Jehosaphat would appoint Levites to be under officers in such a court, but rather where together with Zebadiah the high priest did sitt.

One of the chief in the court was the high priest, and sometymes the onely chief in both kynd of causes, the rest were of the nobility, none of the common people; whereas they make a high senate in every parish, from whence although there lye an appeale, yet to no standing court, and in that court or synode no perpetuall chief gouvernor. Moreover they take away superiority of ministers, and civil autority from ministers, and bestowe ecclesiasticall in part upon the common people.

Many such differences you may conceave. Here may come in that which before I mentioned p. One thing I have omitted in this discourse, which is, that if in any prophane or ecclesiasticall story you could exemplify where two presidents have beene over one court in causes of a different nature, I thinke it would greatly cleare that point of Amariah and Zebadiah in the Edition: current; Page: [ ] story of Jehosaphat. I can call no example to my remembrance. I leave yt therefore to your consideration. For this long discourse you shall pardon me, because I have done yt partly to settle that in my head by writing, which by bare reading perhaps would have flitted away the sooner, partly because if I be deceaved in any part of your meaning, you may both reforme my opinion, and cleare the matter in such sort that others may not be deceaved with me.

Whatsoever you shall thinke meete to be placed in your booke out of these observations, you may place them severally where you see cause; for I perceave they cannot well be ioyned altogether 1. I could wishe therefore that in the beginning of this discourse concerning Jewish regiment their opinion were plainely delivered and the point wherein you contradict them.

As likewise I thinke it were meete that in the beginning of the booke, after you have refuted Erastus, the state of the question in general concerning lay elders were layd open in most playne tearmes; which may be very well done in one or two sentences.

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